The true enemies of the people
Because as the reporters work away on these hydra-headed stories about Trump, some of their colleagues are leaving the building, never to return.
At one level we are invited to regard this journalism as perhaps the only protection that America has against the totalitarian right, while at the next level, literally on the next floor, people are being moved out of the business entirely.
So it is flourishing as never before, and it is also closing down. Sometimes on the same day. In one part of the building they’re breaking stories about James Comey and about Trump’s obstruction of justice, in another part they are telling good people they’ll have to find something else to do with their lives.
In 50 years time, should the forces of America darkness prevail, some will look back at these scenes of journalists trying to report it, while their industry is shifting underneath them, and they will have a much clearer sense of the larger movements of history which were in train — they will perhaps view the various attacks on the business models of journalism and music and other cultural forms not as some accidental misfortune of the internet, but as part of a broader totalitarian strategy.
Which will be regarded by others as a “conspiracy theory”, but then we are reaching the stage at which all such superior-sounding dismissals are actually proof that some sort of conspiracy is indeed in progress.
No longer is it fanciful to be regarding the American president essentially as a Russian agent, at a time when British democracy is going down to what will eventually be seen as a coup by the far right — again with those Russian influencers there or thereabouts.
No longer are such propositions to be jeered at by supercilious “conservatives”, there are reporters at The New York Times and at some of the other papers still left to us, who are standing up these stories all the time.
So yes, Trump is right to regard them as the enemy, but not the enemy of “the people”, just the enemy of Trump — indeed in last week’s episode of Reporting Trump’s First Year... you could see the Times reporter at the rally at which the president made that attack, and it all seemed even more appalling from that perspective.
There was a real stench of the bierkellers of the 1930s about it.
So it was not a good time, not a good look, for Leo Varadkar to be making any noise of any kind which even vaguely suggests that he might be on the same page as the Trumper on certain matters relating to the media.
There is something that Leo is not getting here, something that his brilliant advisers might call “the big picture”.
Maybe they should watch Reporting Trump’s First Year..., and they might get a sense of what we are up against.
We assume there is no question about which side they’re on.
Dark days ahead .... Media is enemy of Trump, not enemy of the people